The Liberation of Paris – General Leclerc Museum – Jean Moulin Museum develops synergies with other institutions dedicated to the history and memory of World War II and proposing exhibitions of major interest.
The museum does not address all the themes related to the Second World War. Visitors are therefore invited to turn to the various partner museums to further enrich their visit.
The institution’s fundamental mission is to collect, conserve, communicate, explain and highlight its collections in order to promote civic learning for all types of audiences.
Created during the French Revolution, it conserves the public archives of various regimes, from the seventh century to the present, as well as the minutes of Parisian notaries and collections of private archives. Free access to the archives has been established as a guarantee of democracy and governmental transparency. Nearly 350 linear kilometers of archives are conserved in the institution, as well as millions of digital files. Certain documents symbolize major steps in the history of France, including Merovingian papyri, the Tennis Court Oath, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, successive Constitutions and the first digital census of the population in 1962.
CENTER FOR THE HISTORY OF THE RESISTANCE AND DEPORTATION (LYON)
On the twentieth anniversary of the Liberation, Lyon created the Museum of the Resistance, on the initiative of former resistance members and deportees who wanted to preserve a record of their history. Led by members of the internal resistance and the Free France movement, the Museum of the Resistance and Deportation was inaugurated on May 8, 1967.
On July 4, 1987, Klaus Barbie was found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Rhône Criminal Court. A first in France, this decision shed new light on the genocide and crimes perpetrated by the Nazi regime. It prodded the collective conscience and led to the creation of a municipal establishment dedicated to World War II. The site formerly occupied by the Gestapo was designated as the appropriate place to house this new establishment. The Center for the History of the Resistance and Deportation was inaugurated on October 15, 1992, in the presence of Jacques Chaban-Delmas and Elie Wiesel, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Memorial is Europe’s largest center for Shoah archives and a site for remembering, teaching and transmitting the history of Jewish genocide during World War II in Europe. The Memorial is present at two sites: one is at Paris in the historical Marais district and the other is at Drancy, facing Cité de la Muette, a former internment and deportation camp. Opened on January 27, 2005, the Paris site has various rooms and a program to raise awareness for each type of audience. There is a permanent exhibition on the Shoah and the history of Jews in France during the conflict, an area for temporary exhibitions, the Wall of Names with the names of 76,000 individuals deported from France from 1942 to 1944, the Documentation Center (50 million archive items, 320,000 photos, 14,000 .lms and 1,500 audio archives) and a reading room, auditorium and learning areas. The Memorial focuses on teaching about genocides in the twentieth century, such as that of the Tutsi in Rwanda or the Armenian genocide.
A place of worship which became a military fortress during the nineteenth century, Mont-Valérien was the German army’s main execution site in France for Resistants and hostages during World War II. The multiple backgrounds of the 1,008 who were shot there correspond to a broad diversity of individuals. After the war, the site was chosen to honor the memory of those who died for France from 1939 to 1945 and was the place where General de Gaulle inaugurated the Memorial of Fighting France on June 18, 1960. Those who were killed because they were Resistants, hostages, Jews or Communists recall history at this place, which became the first site to be listed as a Major Site of National Remembrance by the Ministry of Defense. It is currently administrated by the National Office of Veterans and War Victims.
MUSEUM OF THE ARMY
Founded in 1670 by Louis XIV as a place to care for wounded, sick or elderly soldiers, the Invalides is a site with classical architecture in the heart of Paris. As a museum and memorial site, it also ensures the conservation of the Saint-Louis des Invalides church, which houses the tomb of Napoleon I under its magnificent dome. Within this prestigious building, the Museum of the Army conserves and presents one of the world’s richest collections of military history, with nearly 500,000 items, dating from the Bronze Age to the twenty-first century. It aims to provide visitors—French and foreign, young and old—with an extensive presentation of military history and, more broadly, of the history of France.
MUSEUM OF THE ORDER OF THE LIBERATION
The Museum of the Order of the Liberation is dedicated to the order founded by General de Gaulle during World War II and to the Companions of the Liberation. Its collections trace the pathways of these Free France and internal Resistance fighters, as well as of those who were deported for resisting Nazi oppression. Recently renovated, it presents over 2,000 items illustrating the backgrounds of the Companions in a 1,200 sqm area. Dedicated workshops are available for school groups.
MUSEUM OF NATIONAL RESISTANCE AT CHAMPIGNY-SUR-MARNE
The MNR is a collectivity working at Champigny-sur-Marne and seventeen other sites in France on an essential mission to transmit the history and memory of the Resistance. Early in 2020, a new MNR exhibition area will open in Champigny-sur-Marne on the Aimé Césaire site. With a scenography that draws its strength from works in the collection and the wealth of the life stories that it presents, the new permanent exhibition highlights the various facets of the history of the Resistance. Designed for a very broad audience, it will offer scientific knowledge in light of the latest historical research and adapted to today’s pedagogical uses.